Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Valentine's Day Love Note

The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. Jeremiah 31:3

Valentine's Day is, once again, here with all its red, pink, and white colors. A day of flowers, candy, teddy bears, greeting cards. Even with a troubled economy, as you walk through stores you see the many colors of the season with the accompanying displays saying "buy, buy, buy." Gone are the days of my childhood when a little paper homemade Valentine is sufficient and all that was expected on this day in the form of a gift were a few little heart shaped tiny candies with the words "be mine" or "be my valentine."

I'm thankful today for the twelve red roses from my husband; thankful for this sweet expression of love once again given on this day. I'm also thankful that he remembered Neesie this year, giving her a bunch of pink roses, which meant so much to her. But mostly today, I'm reflecting on the love note I read this morning. I remembered having received this expression of love time and time again, but it came to me afresh as I laid in bed during the early moments of the day. I decided I wanted to come right out and read it again and post the words here. " I have loved you with an everlasting love." What can be better than that?

As these words permeated my heart this morning, my thoughts went to several folks, some whom I know personally; some whom I've never met or ever will meet. But this love note is reaching out to them too. I can't explain why the circumstances of their lives are such that they need to have the touch of these words so much more specifically than others may at this time. But, as I said recently, "Who has known the mind of the Lord?" All I know is, I hope and pray that these dear people whose struggles are more intense than mine at this particular season of life, today, on this Valentine's Day of 2009, will know and experience the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. It's an everlasting love.

This is just a partial list; there are even others I've not mentioned:

A young woman, two months pregnant, who was widowed last night when her twenty-five year old husband, a Philadelphia police officer, was gunned down in the course of carrying out his work.

A woman I know well, in her early forties, who has two children ages ten and seven, who is on the last leg of her journey here on earth. Her breast cancer has spread to her lungs and other parts of her body, and her desire is that she may continue to be on her feet and care for her family until the very end.

A woman from my church who buried her husband in November and found out in January that she has cancer which has spread to several organs in her body. She's awaiting test results to determine how to proceed.

A dear friend of many years, who I had lunch with on Thursday while her husband was undergoing one of the many incidences of needed blood transfusions. Much of her time these days is spent driving her husband back and forth for chemo treatments for his leukemia. He's been weakened lately by a severe cough that he's been unable to shake off.

A friend of the blog world whose husband recently unexpectedly left her and their family. I don't know the circumstances and don't need to know. All that I do know is that she and her family are mourning their loss.

A lady from church who drives almost an hour each way, twice each Sunday. She travels this journey alone, because her husband and sons no longer want to have anything to do with the church. Not only that, she is not being treated kindly (to put it mildly) about her commitment to Christ and His church. And may I add, I seldom see her or talk to her that she doesn't have a smile on her face.

Christians I read about in Voice of the Martyrs magazine and get emails about, as well as in my persecution blog feed, who are burned, tortured, slashed, imprisoned, and on and on. They're in China, Indonesia, Eritrea, Iran, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, and more places than I care to mention.

I hope I haven't made you sad. But these are realities of life that I'm unwilling to forget about on this usually happy day set aside to express our love to others. Not only is this an expression of my heart, but a request for prayer from you as you read through this list of people whom you will probably never know. But God knows just who they are, and while I can't answer for Him as to why He would have them to go through what they are going through, I feel quite certain that each of us at some time or another will have to go through SOMETHING on this earthly journey. While we're going through it, I hope we'll all remember this wonderful "note" of love: "I have loved you with an everlasting love."


Neesie said...

Sweet post. Happy Valentine's Day!

Susan said...

Life, and the sorrows of life, are real.....but the Love of God is the most real, everlasting thing there is. Praise His name, JESUS.

Sara said...

Hearing news like this does make me sad, and very thankful for the godly parents and safe home I have. Valentine's Day sometimes is a very "fluffy" holiday, so thank you for the different people you mentioned who really need prayer today. God truly does love us with an everlasting love.
Happy, happy Valentine's Day Mrs. R.


What a precious post and so like you to remember the "Great Love" and others who are going through trials here on our journey. You are a very special "valentine", Maxine and I am so glad that you are my friend. connie

GraceFromHim said...

Yes, you are right. I can think of a few personal stories of some dear ladies I know. This post however has reminded me to stop and pray for these who are hurting on a day like today.

Thanks for the post.

MeMaw said...

As I was just walking through the store today, I once again thought how much our holidays have been marketed and commercialized, kinds of takes away the specialness of the day.

~~Deby said...

What another precious verse from the WORD of GOD Maxine--oh isn't wonderful that we love the author of LOVE----
You are right--there are many of us who needed to hear that very timely verse--we are all in this process and GOD does love us throughout it all--
thank you for this post..
love you my friend.

Beverly said...

This was a wonderful post. There are so many of these things you listed going on in our world, and it is so comforting to know that in the midst of all this sorrow - we have Him.

Like Sara said, reading these things make me sad as well as thankful. But who knows what the future holds? So it is wonderful to know that we can always depend of the love of Christ.

Denise said...

Life is so real, and yes it made me sad but sadness is a part of what makes us human.... HE uses our hearts to bring us to our knees to pray for others....... Without the compassion that HE gives us who would pray! My goodness there is such heartache in the body of Christ.. I will pray for each of these......... Thank you for sharing with us............. HE is LOVE...........

Linda said...

Beautifully written Maxine. None of us will escape the hurts and sorrows of this life, but knowing Him, knowing how very much He loves us brings such peace.

Lisa said...

God has Blessed you with a tender, caring heart my friend. Your post touched me. Someimes we do get caught up in self an forget those who are in need.I hope your Valenines's day was a Happy one.
Love in Christ